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Shared CFO for SUNY Canton, SUNY Potsdam no longer employed one month after arrest in Georgia

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CANTON - Natalie L. Higley, the SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam chief financial officer arrested last month for alleged misconduct at her previous job, is no longer employed by either college, according to a statement released Friday.

Ms. Higley and several other suspects were charged with stealing a tractor, a golf cart, an ice machine, two portable storage buildings and other items from Bainbridge State College in Georgia, where Ms. Higley was formerly employed.

Representatives from both colleges would not say whether Ms. Higley was fired or resigned, saying they cannot comment on personnel matters. Ms. Higley’s attorney, Ryan C. Cleveland, of Bainbridge, could not be reached for comment Friday.

An audit is underway at SUNY Canton. There is no evidence that Ms. Higley committed any wrongdoing while in the north country, according to SUNY Canton spokeswoman Lenore VanderZee.

SUNY Potsdam has not yet begun an audit, spokeswoman Alexandra M. Jacobs said. “SUNY Potsdam is continuing with its initial plan, to perform an audit if the allegations go forward to trial,” she said.

Ms. Higley is scheduled to appear at preliminary hearings April 15 in Georgia.

For now, SUNY Potsdam interim President Dennis C. Hefner will continue to handle Ms. Higley’s tasks at his college, while Director of Budgets Shawn Miller will do the same at SUNY Canton.

Neither college has released its plans for replacing Ms. Higley with a new vice president for business affairs and administration.

“The two presidents of SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam are in discussion about that, along with SUNY, and we expect any announcements about that will be made in early April,” Ms. VanderZee said.

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